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Children and dental health

Dental health amongst young children is currently in decline, with gum disease and tooth decay amongst young children now some of the most common childhood health conditions. Children are now suffering from tooth decay and gum disease from a very early age and are consequently having to undergo complex dental procedures much earlier than in previous generations.

To combat dental health problems, it is important for children to learn how to look after their teeth and gums from an early age. Dentists and health experts are encouraging parents to take an active role in their child’s oral hygiene routine, by brushing teeth together, discussing the importance of brushing and rinsing the teeth and talking about healthy eating. Buying children toothbrushes and toothpaste that have characters and bright colours on may encourage them to want to brush their teeth; establishing teeth cleaning as part of the daily routine from an early age will get children used to looking after their teeth and it will become a natural part of their daily routine.

In addition to establishing a good oral hygiene routine, it is important that children visit their dentist on a regular basis. Taking children to visit their dentist from an early age will help them to build a relationship with their dentist, as well as ensuring they enjoy good oral health. Some children that have not visited their dentist before may feel nervous and scared about going to see their dentist; however, dentists are trained to deal with children and often have toys, games, books and DVDs to distract their attention and many find that they actually quite enjoy going to the dentist. Children that visit their dentist regularly are less likely to develop dental anxiety in adulthood and are therefore more likely to attend check-ups frequently during adulthood, which helps them to enjoy good oral health.